Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

My mom hosted Thanksgiving this year and I was in charge of some of the side dishes. I usually make the cranberry sauce, and this year I was also making the sweet potatoes and I was trying a new brussel sprout and cranberry dish just for fun. Charlie and Henry shared a cake-pop on the way because we stopped at Starbucks. :)

For the sweet potatoes I was going for more of a savory thing- the marshmallow on top, cinnamon and sugar coated dish that is usually served is so not in my realm of tasty- I would prefer them be spicy actually because they are sweet enough. :) So to kind of appeal to other people's tastes and my own I topped mine with caramelized onions and I think crispy bacon would also be a great thing to add. 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (serves a lot) 

- 8 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 Sweet Onion, cut in half, then thin slices
- 6 Tbsp Kerrygold Butter (or coconut oil), divided
- 1/4+ Cup Milk (More depends on what you want for consistency)
- Salt and Pepper
- 4-5 pieces of Bacon (optional)

1. In a large pot, add the sweet potatoes and cover them with cold water, an inch over the top of the potatoes. Add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 8-10-ish minutes once boiling.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crispy- remove, but leave the grease and add the onions. Chop the crispy bacon into small pieces. If you are not using bacon, add the 2 Tbsp of Butter and the onions. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are brown and soft- about 15 minutes. Chop the crispy bacon into small pieces)
3. Drain and add the potatoes back to the pan. Add 4 Tbsp of Butter and milk. Mash with a potato masher until they are the consistency you want, use more milk or a hand-blender if you want them creamier. Taste for salt and pepper. 
4. Put the potatoes in whatever dish you are serving them in and top with the onions (and bacon too.)


The cranberry sauce I usually make has bourbon in it. If you don't want bourbon, even though the alcohol cooks out, use orange juice like I did this year. :) Charlie LOVED the cranberry sauce- it is a little weird I thought, but I'll take it! 

Cranberry Sauce

- 2 12-oz Bags Fresh Cranberries
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 Cup Apple Juice
- 1/2 Cup Bourbon (or Orange Juice)
- 1 Tbsp Orange Zest

1. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine all of the ingredients.

2. Onice it is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and sauce thickens. About 20-25 minutes. Cool before serving. 


This next dish came about because I always make too much cranberry sauce and so I took some of the fresh cranberries and add them to one of my favorite vegetables. The end result isn't beautiful but I ate half of it in one sitting... oops! Next time I might top them with some pecans or bleu cheese. 

Cranberries and Brussel Sprouts

- 1 lb Brussel Sprouts, de-stemmed and cut in half
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3/4 Cup Fresh Cranberries
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp Honey (or Maple Syrup)
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat, add the brussel sprouts and cranberries. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the cranberries start to burst and the brussel sprouts are tender, about 15-20 minutes. 

2. Turn off the heat, add the vinegar, honey and mustard. Toss to coat and check again for seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

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